Mass Oceanic Extinction Predicted

Posted on June 22, 2011

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PASHA BELYAYEV

A new report has been issued that says that if humans do not do anything to help prevent the dilapidation of the world’s oceans, a mass extinction will inevitably occur.

The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) released a report that rates the combined impact of all the stressors which hurt the ocean and they include pollution, warming, acidification, overfishing, and hypoxia. IPSO found that this dilapidation of the world’s oceans is happening much faster than earlier predicted and these specific degenerative factors have caused mass extinctions in the course of Earth’s history.

The three major factors which are affecting the oceans and contributing to the threat of a mass extinction are hypoxia and anoxia, warming, and acidification. Hypoxia is when the ocean is low on oxygen while anoxia is when there is no oxygen and the result of this is the creation of “dead zones.”

This report is one of many that has been published in recent months detailing the deteriorating conditions of the oceans. A few of the more overwhelming and anxiety-inducing reports say that by 2050: Coral reefs could be gone if no action is taken. The Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone will be the largest in history due to the runoff from the Mississippi, which brings with it the pollution from fertilizers. The next mass extinction is already underway unless swift and momentous action occurs.

In order for humans to make any change at all, IPSO recommends that we reduce CO2 emissions as quickly as possible, countries work together in order to restore marine ecosystems, and that there be a principle that says “activities proceed only if they are shown not to harm the ocean singly or in combination with other activities.”

IPSO has also told the UN to efficiently introduce an “effective governance of the High Seas.” Although this challenge may seem implausible, the technology and efficient access of information provides people a way to work together to prevent a mass extinction from occurring so our future generations will be able to enjoy our oceans.

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Posted in: Global